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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Location
    Colorado Front Range
    Posts
    112

    Default Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    While I like the idea of supporting local business, some online dealers offer free shipping, no sales tax and even things like free fly line with reels and/or rods. And, the bigger outfitters tend to have common items in stock. Good deals can be had on flies too...but the local guys often have advice on what to use and I don't mind buying some flies as appreciation for said advice, especially when venturing into new locations.

    Which do you all prefer?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    Location
    Wasilla / Skwentna, Alaska
    Posts
    15,391
    Blog Entries
    111

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    Hi Mike,

    I use both sources for many of the supplies I want or need. I would say 70% of the money goes through businesses in Anchorage, 10% to Sportsman's Warehouse at Wasilla, and the other 20 into on-line orders. Until I began to develop relationships with shops and the people who either work there or own them I made more on-line purchases. Some items I still buy from sources I developed in other parts of the country but I'm becoming more of a buy local guy than I was just 5 years ago. The exception is the purchase of rods. I have a preference for vintage rods over new designs and actions and so I buy them where I find them. The rods are either used or new old stock that has been sitting somewhere for 20 - 30 years unused.

    Anywhere can be the land of great expectations, broken dreams, or paradise found, it's all up to you.

    Life On The Line - Alaska Fishing with Ard
    Ard's Forum blog, Alaska Outdoors

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  4. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Posts
    862

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    I find it really difficult to choose the fly shop exclusively. In a really small market place selection and prices can be a challenge. If I had a Norm/Cheers relationship with my shop it would be different. With only one shop on the Island, prices are dictated by what the customer will pay not what competition dictates.

    I would like to give the shop all my tying business, and they do get most, but they haven't had a decent grizzly neck or cape in stock for months. Makes me want to outsource.
    Last edited by noreaster; 10-10-2012 at 05:27 AM.
    "Whale oil beef hooked !"- Traditional east coast fishermen saying

  5. #4

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    My "local" fishing is a 2 - 3 Hour drive from the urban area I live in. There are 2 shops in my city but my relationships are with the destination shops where I drive or fly to fish. While all here on this forum are "Internet" folks, I feel strongly about supporting the shops where I fish and find them very helpful to me as well. They will all be gone, many of my smaller old favorites already are, if we don't shop there. I appreciate the "free fly line" web shop offer...it is unlikely to be a line I want though. I love going into fly shops wherever I am and hearing their local stories and opinions about tackle popular in their area and I always find a fly or gadget to buy even if I am not on a fishing trip. I don't feel as warm and fuzzy visiting World Wide Sportsman or Cabelas but I'll get off the highway to visit them too. Support your local fly shop is my motto.

  6. Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    When I lived 10 minutes from a fly shop, they got the majority of my business.

    Now that I live 4 hours from a fly shop, 98% of my fly fishing related purchases are online.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    271
    Blog Entries
    1

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    A world without non-virtual fly shops would be a sad place indeed. I buy as much as I can afford at them. Any new stuff I want I try to get at a brick and mortar shop.

    I do support buying used gear (actually second hand everything, with the exception of underwear! Used guitars are especially cooler than new ones in my book) and if fly shops offered used gear I would certainly consider buying it. It would be great to see vintage/used gear sections in the shops with affordable items as well as the crazy cool museum pieces.
    ~Noiso
    "By the time I was a teenager I fit the standard profile of a lifelong angler. I was lazy, shiftless, unambitious and willing to work hard only at things that were widely considered useless." ~John Gierach

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Philadelphia Pa
    Posts
    2,012

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    Generally, i'm an online guy. Only for materials, rods, reels etc.
    The deals to be had online and the selection, including your mentioned free shipping, no tax and other incentives are more widely available, especially if you know exactly what you want. Case in point. I went on line today and bought 3x white flymaster, Ice dub, GP neck(topping and tippets) and cyclops beads. All zero tax, and the flymaster was just $1 per spool. With standard shipping ($3) i would have been out less than $20, but i opted for priority for $2 more. Generally i hate to pay shipping, hence why i used this vendor (The low standard rate) and more often than not i'll pay a few extra bucks to reach the free shipping minimum and get more materials for my money. Today i got only what i needed for $22 shipping. I could have gotten free shipping at another vendor (no minimum spend) but they are notoriously slow shippers since they think its fine as the offer free shipping, but i need this stuff fast.
    I generally base my vendor decision on 3 things:
    Speed of service/turnaround time
    Shipping cost/free shipping minimum spend
    Selection of materials i need.
    Sometimes one store will have the majority of what i want, and if i'm not in absolute need of everything i'll go with that store.

    If i'd gone to a local store, i'd have had to factor in gas to the store (>10 miles away; 20 mile round trip) high base prices on all the items, and tax - easily $30 for the same stuff i just got for $22 shipped, and little more than 20 mins of my time.
    In terms of flies, i tie my own, except when at a new location. I'll stop by a local outfitter, ask for some advise on hatches etc and pick up some flies. I've yet to find a deal for equipment that i couldn't better online.

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Manning, S. C. (formerly MD)
    Posts
    2,992

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    I also buy more online than in local shops. There are few shops in my area now, as what were here have closed, and since I primarily fish warmwater or tidalwater, the few shops that remain cater more to trout anglers, so offer little to meet my needs.

    As far as equipment goes, at this point in my life, there is little I need, so when I purchase something it's a "want" and I'll usually make such purchases based solely on the price regardless of where it may be found.

    Tying materials I buy when I find a good deal, and frankly I have enough materials & hooks now that I could probably tie the rest of my life & never use all of what I already have. Plus, I buy "cheap" materials, because I don't have much need for expensive items such as dry fly capes, so what I use is easier to find from a variety of sources.
    Remember, no one likes to be behind the big truck, but that's better than being under it!

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Michigan's U.P.
    Posts
    2,350

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    I wish I had a fly shop locally that stocked everthing. There isn't even a shop nearby.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Aug 2012
    Location
    Portland and Maupin, Oregon
    Posts
    488

    Default Re: Local Fly Shop or Buy Online?

    Quote Originally Posted by mike63 View Post
    While I like the idea of supporting local business, some online dealers offer free shipping, no sales tax and even things like free fly line with reels and/or rods. And, the bigger outfitters tend to have common items in stock. Good deals can be had on flies too...but the local guys often have advice on what to use and I don't mind buying some flies as appreciation for said advice, especially when venturing into new locations.

    Which do you all prefer?
    I prefer to support my local flyshops for reasons already mentioned. If you prefer to purchase online, you are welcome to support one of mine too. Purchases can be made online from The flyshops in Oregon. There is no sales tax in Oregon and they do not have a shipping charge. Telephone advice is available. One could even ask for a line with the purchase of a rod and or reel. Many local shops do a big share of their business online. Where would we and the resource be without them?
    PM me and I'll give you the names of a couple good ones.

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